Most Common Mistakes Startups Make When Launching Apps
A very large number of startups base their entire existence on a mobile app, or the promise of it. Startup founders have long-realized the growing importance of mobile devices and they know there is money to be made by taking a service mobile and offering something completely new.
There are, of course, startups whose primary mode of operation is not as an app. However, even these startups know very well that they need to be accessible via mobile devices and that their online presence needs to involve a mobile app that will spread like wildfire and turn their every customer into a brand ambassador.
Since launching an app of any kind is never a simple process, mistakes are made and startups suffer. Sometimes these mistakes can even lead to closing shop. Today, we will be covering the most common mistakes startups make when launching apps, together with a few tips on how to avoid them.
Thinking TOO Big
There is nothing wrong with thinking big. That is how legacies are made. That is how legends are made. However, when starting off and launching an app, it might actually be a better idea to be as focused and as tight as you can.
This is probably best illustrated with an example.
Let’s imagine, for example, that you have an idea for an app that will make it ten times easier for marketing teams with 5 people or less to work together on a project. You know it might sort of work for bigger teams as well, but you will need to sacrifice some of the features and usability.
On the one hand, you have the best marketing project app for teams under 5 people. This means your target customer base is somewhat limited to smaller firms and smaller projects. That being said, you know that you will deliver. They will love your app. They will forget about all other apps.
On the other hand, you can develop an app that will allow huge teams to work with it, thus making your potential market seemingly larger. However, they will have to work with an app that is not really that great and that will not seem particularly new. It is meh.
What do you choose? You choose the first option, of course. You make a name for yourself by doing something like no one else can. You solve a single problem for a single group of people. Who says you cannot grow later?
ALWAYS Building Internally
The number of people who believe developing an app is a walk in the park is almost frighteningly large. Maybe you have a few fantastic coders on the team (they’ve never coded for mobile, but never mind), a great marketing guy (or girl) and a fantastic designer. This does not mean they will be able to develop and launch an app in a period of time (usually very limited) and within budget (often even more limited).
Developing and launching an app is an arduous process that requires years of experience in not just coding, but mobile UX and QA, as well as plenty of mobile design experience. And this is not even factoring in cross-platform coding and other complications.
Sometimes it is simply a better idea to reach out to someone with more experience and skill and hire their services. This is not admitting defeat or compromising your vision. This is smart business. Remember. It’s all business. Maybe you can pay them in stock options or even by making them partners. It is a fluid field.
In case your startup does not revolve around the app, there is yet another option. Nowadays, there are services where people with no coding experience can design their own app and launch it for their users. Of course, the features will be somewhat limited, but such an app will be able to offer some functionality and provide all the marketing benefits to a startup. One such app maker, Bizness Apps, even offers templates for businesses (startups included) in different niches. It is definitely something you will want to research.
Not Promoting It
Back in 2015, we saw a thousand apps being added to Apple’s App Store PER DAY. Keep in mind, this is just iOS apps. Add Android apps to this number. Add Windows apps to this number. In short, there is an insane number of apps being released every day and thinking that people will notice yours just because you launched it is nothing short of madness.
Promoting your mobile app is a serious job that you need to approach seriously in order to turn your app into a winner.
For one, you should approach app review websites where people go to find out about new apps. One word of warning – there are so many of these websites out there and many of them are not exactly perfectly objective. In other words, they get paid to promote certain apps. Still, it is better to be present on some of these sites than not.
Launching a website to support your app is also a good idea. This is where you can introduce your new app in a way it deserves, share videos of what your app can do and write about the stuff your app enables.
You will also want to use social media to inform people about your app and spread the word. Social networks are used by so many people these days that you simply cannot ignore them. You will have to spend a bit of time and effort on this, but if done right, it will do wonders for your new app.
This is by no means the complete list of mistakes startups make when launching apps. However, these three encapsulate the most common ways in which startups mess up their app development and launching and keeping these in mind, you should be able to avoid making them.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has worked in the trade show industry for more than 15 years and he has seen all kinds of startups succeed and fail for any number of reasons. He is editor in chief at BizzMarkBlog and a one of the rare non-Utahn Utah Jazz fan. James also runs – Bizzmark Blog.